Keir Starmer

British politician

Sir Keir Starmer KCB KC (/ˈkɪər ˈstɑːrmər/; born 2 September 1962) is a British Labour Party politician and barrister who is the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition. Previously, he was the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).



  • The referendum is clear and has to be accepted and we can't have a re-run of the question that was put to the country earlier this year. But, and it's a big but, there has to be democratic grip of the process and, at the moment, what the prime minister's trying to do is to manoeuvre without any scrutiny in Parliament and that's why the terms on, which we're going to negotiate absolutely have to be put to a vote in the House.
  • What I think is really important is that the government aims high. My worry is that the government has attached so much importance to immigration that it's not even going to try to get the best access to the single market. In other words, it's going to give up before it starts. My sense is that the government is saying 'because we want to take such a hard line on immigration we are going to give up on parts of the argument that would be better for the economy'.


  • I wish the result had gone the other way. I campaigned passionately for that. But as democrats our party has to accept that result and it follows that the prime minister should not be blocked from starting the Article 50 negotiations.
  • Labour would seek a transitional deal that maintains the same basic terms that we currently enjoy with the EU. That means we would seek to remain in a customs union with the EU and within the single market during this period. It means we would abide by the common rules of both.


  • There's a growing view, I think probably a majority view in Parliament now, that it's in our national interests and economic interests to stay in a customs union with the EU. We've got a huge manufacturing sector in the UK that needs to be protected, with many goods going over borders many, many times, and we need to protect that.


  • During the talks, almost literally as we were sitting in the room talking, cabinet members and wannabe Tory leaders were torpedoing the talks with remarks about not being willing to accept the customs union. In terms of the team that we were negotiating with, I'm not blaming them. Circling around those that were in the room trying to negotiate were others who didn't want the negotiation to succeed because they had their eye on what was coming next.


  • There are four elections on Thursday 6 May.
  • I will change the things that need changing and that is the change that I will bring about.


  • [Asked if he was concerned about the police dealing with anti-monarchist protesters during a period of national mourning six days after Queen Elizabeth II died.] The word I would use around that issue is respect. I think if people have spent a long time waiting to come forward to have that moment as the coffin goes past or whatever it may be, I think respect that, because people have made a huge effort to come and have that private moment to say thank you to Queen Elizabeth II.
    Respect that. Obviously we have to respect the fact that some people disagree. One of the great British traditions is the ability to protest and to disagree.
    But I think if it can be done in the spirit of respect. Respect the fact that hundreds of thousands of people do want to come forward and have that moment. Don’t ruin it for them.
    But also we do need to respect the fact that other people must be entitled to express their different views.
  • So that means fair rules, firm rules, a points-based system. What I would like to see is the numbers go down in some areas. I think we're recruiting too many people from overseas into, for example, the health service. But on the other hand, if we need high-skilled people in innovation in tech to set up factories etc, then I would encourage that.
  • [Opposing a future Scottish independence referendum regardless of the Supreme Court in London potentially deciding to accept the Scottish Parliament has a legal right to hold one.] It's good the case has gone to court because I think it's better to have legal certainty, so we all know the basis on which we're operating [...] All the court is going to be able to rule is, if it does rule in favour, is that there could or can be, [that] it's legally permissible to have a referendum. That doesn't answer the political question, which is 'should there be a referendum'?
    • Interviewed on The Sunday Show (BBC Scotland television programme, 6 November 2022), as cited in "Keir Starmer says NHS jobs must be filled domestically as he fails to set out democratic route to independence"], The Scotsman (7 November 2022).
  • We took the decision to leave and we have left. So now what we need to do is rather than just sticking with the deal we've got which is not good enough, we need to make Brexit work.

Quotes about StarmerEdit

  • The new leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour party on Saturday apologised to the Jewish community for anti-Semitism in its ranks, calling it a "stain" and pledging to stamp it out. "On behalf of the Labour Party, I am sorry," Keir Starmer said in a statement after his victory was announced. "I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us."

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